Friday, July 25, 2014

A small finish

Today I have a small finish to share. 
I used these little table toppers that I quilted to teach my daughter how to bind her quilt. Here we are hand stitching the bindings.

And now they are both finished. They are not very big so they didn't take much time to finish. As you can see, they are larger than a placemat.

The quilting is a crosshatch over the field of the print and I straight line stitched around the border. The mallard print is from my mom's sewing room. The binding is fabric from my stash.
The backing is from a fabric that was among the orphaned blocks and fabrics. I think it works great together!
You can read more about the orphaned blocks here.

Front and back side by side.

Since my DH and I won't be able to get away this summer (we traveled to Hawaii in January/February), we have been trying to find fun things to do right here at home...our staycation.
Last Sunday, we had an afternoon out on Lake Michigan on the tall ship, 
The Red Witch. 
What a beautiful day out on the lake!

Quite relaxing!

 The beautiful Chicago skyline...
The Adler Planetarium

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts
 and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday over at Quokka Quilts.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My daughter's first quilt!

My DD1 is very close to finishing her very first quilt!
 A while back she asked me to help her make a quilt. I showed her some orphaned printed foundation blocks that a friend gave me. I thought that she would be able to do them pretty easily. 
She liked the idea so once school was out (she is an Art teacher), we started putting fabrics together. She bought some at the International Quilt Festival and used some from my stash. The block is of a crazy square and she wanted it in low volume fabrics with just one piece in either a muted blue or muted purple.
This is a copy of the foundation piece that we scanned into my computer.
After I taught her how to do foundation piecing, she went to work sewing and completed the 15 blocks about a week and half ago. After working on a layout, I then helped her sash them. 
On Friday afternoon, we sandwiched the quilt and I taught her straight line quilting around each block. Yesterday afternoon, she was ready to learn FMQ! 
At first we were going to follow a template of swirls but it was more difficult for her to get the hang of it see the lines. She decided she would rather try without following any pattern. She finished them in record time for a first time quilter! We took a break and then she FMQ the borders. 
Just look at that quilting!
We were on a roll with all the quilting done so we decided to make the binding. We squared up the quilt and determined how much binding was needed. 
A mini lesson on how to make a scrappy binding with mitered piecing. She wanted to use mostly the blues and purples from the top with an occasional low volume thrown in. We cut enough 2 1/4" strips with a little extra. It was getting late but we really wanted to get the binding sewn on. And she did it!
Here it is hanging on my design wall with the binding attached. A lesson to hand stitch the binding will be next. She did a fabulous job on this quilt! 
I am one proud mama!

With more orphaned blocks from the lady I mentioned in my last post, I put together a garden banner. The theme of these blocks was birdhouses. However, the colors were all over the place and I just couldn't see putting them together in a quilt. So I cut them down to 8.5" x 10.5", cut backings from my stash, stitched around, turned them and sewed them onto a 1/8" double fold bias tape. 
The size of the flags was determined by the largest birdhouse in the blocks.
Now they hang in our garden!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A finish for Project Linus

A friend of mine gave me quite a few projects that were orphaned by
 a friend of hers that passed away. The family was happy that they
 were going to someone that would be able to use them. After looking thru
 the organized bags, it became clear that this lady belonged to a swap that
 each person sent the pieces for a themed block with instructions and
a extra square of fabric that coordinated. Usually there were
 about 6 - 8 squares in the swap. She had many of the blocks put together, 
some partially put together, and others waiting to be put together. 

As I sorted through the bags, I knew that some of them I just couldn't put together in a quilt as the blocks didn't really coordinate, or some were poorly made and the sizes didn't match up. However, this one was too cute
 not to make into a Project Linus quilt. 
Most of these 6 blocks were already made. The Sunbonnet Sue block was partially completed and the log cabin needed some logs to bring it up to the size of the others. I added sashing from the scraps of fabric that came along in the bag and the side borders to make it large enough for a baby quilt.
The back was also pieced with the coordinated squares and leftover fabric. 
I decided to bind it in a red striped fabric that I had in my stash to give
 it a pop of color! 
The only thing left is to label it and get it to the local donation shop. 
Finished size: 32.5" x 39"
Another summer finish! 
It feels good to get a few things out of my sewing room completed. 
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday over at Dizzy Quilts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Catching up with a finish

So late Sunday night, I put the final stitches on the binding of this quilt. Yesterday, I washed and dried it and photographed it. 
The only thing left is the label!

I'm named this quilt Linked Together. 
The fabric line is Sunkissed by Sweetwater and the background is Kona white. The block pattern is called Crossroads. You can find it here
I played around with the layout of the blocks and rather than setting them all in the same direction, I rotated them 90º. That created some small negative space squares and some larger. I FMQ feathered wreaths in each of those spaces and straight lined quilted in each link. 

The back is pieced with ALL the left over pieces of Sunkissed and a neutral gray that I found. I left just enough of Sunkissed to bind the quilt. 
The quilt finishes at 58" x 67". It will be gifted in a couple of weeks! 

I also finished my June Art Journal calendar. Yes, I am a little behind but weddings and babies seem to be keeping me busy. 
(Another baby quilt hopefully ready to show soon.)
For June I tried something completely different.
I really enjoyed this format as it gave me more room for entries and stamping. I was inspired by Annie and her Art Journals. If you don't read her blog, you should go there and get inspired!  Also, this inspiration found on Pinterest. It was so easy to make! I think I may use this format again. Hope you like it!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Slowly catching up on... Art Journal Calendar pages.  The last post that I shared showed my April pages without entries. Here it is with the entries written. 
(my not too exciting daily entries)

I added some buttons to give it a little more dimension...sewing with my daughters in Austin!
(those black to correct an oops!)

For May, I used birdies for the cute!
It reminded me of the birds returning after such a harsh winter.
(I may go back and draw in some legs.)
Here it is with my entries. 
Pretty simple but with my busy schedule, that is what I could accomplish. 
I kept a list on my phone...picking one/two things from each day. It is 
amazing that I only missed a few days. I didn't want to give up so I say, 
'Better late than never!'

Now for June and July...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Here's what's new....

I had finished the top of this quilt over the weekend and I started piecing the back. This morning I finished up the back using up all my scraps of Sunkissed by Sweetwater and had to add a bit gray to make it big enough. 
(Hopefully saved just enough for the binding.)
I turned every other block 90º which create a larger negative space for quilting. 
Maybe tomorrow I will set myself up to sandwich this quilt. 

After finishing the backing for the quilt above, I got a bug to get one of the many projects that I have had in my head for a while done. There on my side table was a mini charm pack of Lilly and Will by Bunny Hill that I received as a 'Thank You' and a half yard piece I purchased to add to it. Yes, it has been hanging around there for some time! :)

I started laying out the squares in rows on my work table. Then pulled out my bag of Kona white scraps and cut 32 ~ 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" pieces and 7 ~ 1 1/2" x 14 1/2" pieces. Used those for some white sashing. I continued with a large white border all around, then added a 2 1/2" outer border from the yardage. 
It is fun to have summer spontaneous moments in my sewing room! 
Who would have thought I would get 2 flimsy ready for sandwiching today.  

Here are a few of my favorites from the International Quilt Festival in Chicago this past weekend. I'll put the names of the ones I remember.

Can you see the 3 dimensions to some of the squares? 

White Swan by Martha Schellingerloud. 
Beautiful quilting on a domestic machine!

 Zen Magpies by Helen Godden
Zentangles on fabric! Impressive!

I believe this one used the Stack and Whack method. Even though these are not my preference, I was impressed by how clever it was done.
 boots block details
fish block details

Trapezoids at Work by Jenna Brand

Maybe I'll add a few more on a later post. What have you been working on?